US Congress reports unprecedented surge in Covid-19 cases – as it happened | US news









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Congress reporting unprecedented rise in Covid-19 cases















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Laurence H Tribe: risk of coup is now greater than under Trump

In light of the impending anniversary of 6 January 2021 and the US Capitol attack, and indeed in light of events in the Senate today, concerning voting rights reform, an esteemed legal scholar writes for Guardian US:


Only free and fair elections in which the loser abides by the result stand between each of us and life at the mercy of a despotic regime – one we had no voice in choosing and one that can freely violate all our rights.

So everything is at stake in the peaceful transfer of power from a government that has lost its people’s confidence to its victorious successor. It was that peaceful transfer that Donald Trump and his minions sought to obstruct and almost succeeded in overthrowing when Joe Biden was elected president.

Here’s the full piece:








MLK’s son welcomes Schumer voting rights gambit

Democrats are seizing on this week’s anniversary of the deadly US Capitol insurrection to renew a push for voting rights legislation to safeguard democracy.

Majority leader Chuck Schumer announced on Monday that the body will vote on changing its own rules on or before 17 January, the federal Martin Luther King Jr Day holiday, if Republicans continue to obstruct election reform.

The deadline appears part of a concerted effort to use Thursday’s commemorations, marking a year since a mob of Donald Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, seeking to overturn Joe Biden’s election win, to give fresh impetus to the long-stalled legislation.

In a letter to Senate Democrats, Schumer argued that the events of 6 January 2021 are directly linked to a campaign by Republican-led state legislatures to impose voter restriction laws.

“Let me be clear,” the New York senator wrote. “6 January was a symptom of a broader illness – an effort to delegitimise our election process, and the Senate must advance systemic democracy reforms to repair our republic or else the events of that day will not be an aberration – they will be the new norm.

“Much like the violent insurrectionists who stormed the US Capitol nearly one year ago, Republican officials in states across the country have seized on the former president’s Big Lie about widespread voter fraud to enact anti-democratic legislation and seize control of typically non-partisan election administration functions.”

Schumer’s announcement was welcomed by Martin Luther King III, son of the civil rights activist and chairman of the Drum Major Institute.

“There is no better way to honor my father’s legacy than protecting the right to vote for all Americans,” he said.

“The King holiday is historically a day of service, and we hope the United States Senate will serve our democracy by passing the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

“We applaud Senator Schumer for his commitment to expanding voting rights, but we won’t halt our plans for action until legislation has been signed.”








Speaking of subpoenas in New York for Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr, as Viv was earlier, this piece from 2016 by Jon Swaine (late of this parish, now of the Washington Post) ought to be interesting secondary reading:

John’s intro: “An attempt by Donald Trump to slash the property tax bill on a golf club outside New York City may be undermined by records indicating that he previously said the property was worth 35 times more than the value he is now trying to convince a judge to approve.”

That sort of thing is what Letitia James, the New York attorney general, is looking into in an investigation which could result in a civil lawsuit. Such alleged practices at the Trump Organization are also part of a criminal inquiry run out of Manhattan.

Here’s Jon’s story:















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